"Phonics is fun because it helps me learn lots of sounds"
Learning to read is a life-long skills and one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends upon this skill and so at Aspin Park we put as much energy into ensuring that every single child not only learns to read but learns to love reading. At Aspin Park Academy we use the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading. RWI is a structured programme which integrates phonics and comprehension. Phonics is the ability to convert a letter or a group of letters into sounds that are then blended into a word. The programme is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.
Children learn to read accurately and then fluently so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension. At the start of EYFS children learn a simple alphabetic code followed by a more complex code in Year One. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sounds children are learning and already know.
We start the systematic teaching of phonics at the very start of Foundation. The children learn to recognise the shape of letters and the sound they make. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
Children are taught to:
- Say the pure sounds ('mmm' not 'muh', 'sss' not 'suh' etc) to decode letter/sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly and use their phonic knowledge and skills to see a letter, or a group of letters and say the corresponding sound. Here is a link provided by Read, Write Inc. to hear the pure sounds.
- Say words by sounding then blending (Fred talk) e.g., m-a-t = mat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by saying the sounds in a word then blending them together to say the whole word.
- Read red words on sight such as ‘come,’ ‘was,’ ‘said’ and ‘you’. These are words where a part(s) of the word is trying to trick the children. We teach them to look at the word and spot the part that is trying to trick us.
- Understand what they read (comprehension).
- Read aloud with fluency and expression (a storyteller voice).
- Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words. Children use ‘Fred fingers’ to say each of the sounds they can hear in a word before they attempt to write it.
- Develop pencil control, form letters correctly and acquire good handwriting.
The children practise their reading with books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and red words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and quickly begin to see themselves as readers. Parents/carers are encouraged to practise reading to their child for at least 10 minutes every day at home. We cannot stress enough how important this is.
"Phonics helps me to learn fun words"
Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation, Year One and those in Year Two who have not passed the phonics screening check in Year One or completed the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme. Our aim is for children to finish Read Write Inc. phonics by the end of Year One or shortly after they start Year Two. They will then start the Read Write Inc. spelling programme.
Progress with phonics and the Year One Phonics Screening Check
We use various ways to find out how the children are progressing in reading. Each half term the children following the RWI programme are assessed. They are then grouped accordingly to ensure they are always being taught at the correct level to provide challenge. In class, we regularly assess how fluently and accurately the children can read words during reading lessons and individual reading turns. Children who are at the same reading level are grouped together for phonics and reading however these groups are fluid and if a child makes faster progress they are swiftly moved to a different group. Children who are not making the expected level of progress in phonics and reading receive daily intervention support using either the fast track tutoring programme for children in EYFS to Year Four or the fresh start intervention programme for children in Year Five and Year Six.
In the Summer term, the government requires all Year One children to complete a national phonics screening check. The children who do not achieve the pass mark will continue to be supported with phonics in Year Two to give them the best chance of achieving a pass when they retake the screening check in Year Two.
"I like learning sounds so that when I grow up I will be smart!"
Children with difficulties saying speech sounds
Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound, and j-sound. Often, they say a t-sound for the c-sound; "tttssh" for the s-sound; "w" for the r-sound and "r" for the l-sound. Parents/carers can help their child by encouraging them to look at their mouth when they say the sound. They can still learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.
Read Write Inc. progression of sounds
Simple and complex speed sound chart
Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds and phrases